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The Intersection of Art and Literature: Auguste Rodin and The Gates of Hell

Weekend Course

Sunday, April 24, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0686B
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$30 - Non-Member
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“The Gates of Hell”, by Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Save when you purchase The Intersection of Art and Literature spring series!

The notion that a picture is worth a thousand words is meant to convey the power of imagery. But what of the power of words—if they are personal interpretations of art that mix fact and fiction such as Giorgio Vasari’s Lives, or the writings of Dante and Shakespeare that inspired Auguste Rodin, or Émile Zola’s written defense of his great friend Édouard Manet’s work—and the portrait it inspired.  

Explore the alchemy that occurs at the intersection of art and literature in this fascinating Sunday afternoon series with David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art.

Session Information

Auguste Rodin and The Gates of Hell

French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) drew a lifetime of inspiration from the poet Dante’s epic Divine Comedy. Most notably, Rodin’s monumental The Gates of Hell reflects a scene from the Inferno, the first section of Dante’s poem, where his hero begins his transit through Hell.

Rodin was attracted to the romantic notion of the artist as hero. His oeuvre is filled with monuments and small-scale works depicting such contemporary luminaries as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, and Gustav Mahler. Other works derive their heroism from past writers whose lives and work he most admired, especially Dante and Shakespeare.

Recommended Reading: Rodin, the Shape of Genius, by Ruth Butler

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.